Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
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|Agence canadienne d’évaluation environnementale|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Canada|
|Website||Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency|
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) (French: Agence canadienne d’évaluation environnementale) is the Government of Canada agency that reports to the federal Minister of the Environment.
The Agency provides leadership and serves as a centre of expertise for federal environmental assessment in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
It is responsible for the overall administration of the federal environmental assessment process, except for projects regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission or the National Energy Board.
In this context, the Agency’s main responsibilities in conducting the environmental assessment (EA) process are to encourage public participation; promote high-quality assessment through training and guidance; provide administrative and advisory support for review panels; promote the use of strategic environmental assessment as a key tool to support sustainable decision making; and act as the Crown Consultation Coordinator to integrate the Government of Canada's Aboriginal consultation activities into the EA processes it manages to the greatest extent possible.
The Agency was established in 1994 prior to the adoption of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the Act) in 1995 by the Parliament of Canada. The Act is the legal basis for the federal environmental assessment process in Canada. On April 26, 2012, the Government introduced Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, a provision of which repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, replacing it with a new Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Bill C-38 received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012 and came into force on July 6, 2012.
The Agency’s role is to provide Canadians with high-quality federal environmental assessments that contribute to informed decision making in support of sustainable development. The Agency leads the federal review process for most major projects and coordinates the Government of Canada's Aboriginal consultation activities during the environmental assessment process.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has approximately 250 employees at its headquarters and in its regional offices. Agency headquarters are in Ottawa, Ontario. The Agency also has six regional offices across Canada: Atlantic (Halifax), Québec (Ste. Foy), Ontario (Toronto), Prairie (Winnipeg), Alberta and Northwest Territories (Edmonton) and Pacific and Yukon (Vancouver).
Acts and regulations
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012
- Regulations Designating Physical Activities
- Prescribed Information for the Description of a Designated Project Regulations
- Cost Recovery Regulations
Policy and Guidance
The CEAA defines Cumulative Effects Assessment as "An assessment of the incremental effects of an action on the environment when the effects are combined with those from other past, existing and future actions." "Cumulative effects are changes to the environment that are caused by an action in combination with other past, present and future human actions."
In 1994, the CEAA published A Reference Guide for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act: Addressing Cumulative Environmental Effects.
CEAA's Operational Policy Statement defines a number of factors to be considered in the environmental assessment of a project that include,
"the characteristics of the project; the risks associated with the potential cumulative environmental effects; the health or status of valued components (VCs) [Notes 1] that may be impacted by the cumulative environmental effects; the potential for mitigation and the extent to which mitigation measures may address potential environmental effects; and, the level of concern expressed by Aboriginal groups or the public."
- For example a value component or valued ecosystem component (VECs) could refer to woodland caribou, drinking water quantity and quality and forest soil. A VECC refers to a Valued Cultural Component
- "Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners' Guide Appendix A Glossary", CEAA, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 20 March 2013, retrieved 15 December 2013
- Operational Policy Statement: Assessing Cumulative Environmental Effects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, May 2013a, retrieved 15 December 2013
- "Cumulative Effects Assessment: A Case Study for the Kiskatinaw River Watershed Special Report. Appendix to FPB/SR/39" (PDF), Forest Practices Board, March 2011, retrieved 15 December 2013
- Hegmann, G.; Cocklin, C.; Creasey, R.; et al. (February 1999), "Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency", The Cumulative Effects Assessment Working Group, ISBN 0-660-17709-9